The Western Cape’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) has opened applications for its Business Technology and Innovation Support Fund, which seeks to help businesses improve productivity and increase their profitability.
The DEDAT Business Technology and Innovation Fund programme aims to tackle the challenge of low productivity in Western Cape firms, helping them to achieve greater competitiveness to match or beat international standards, through the adoption of technology.
It forms part of the Western Cape Government’s Growth for Jobs Strategy, which sets a goal for the Western Cape to grow its economy by between 4% and 6% by 2035.
The DEDAT believes the competitiveness of the Western Cape in a future, digitally-transformed world will depend on the ability of the technology and innovation sector to contribute more significantly to the digital transformation of enterprises. It aims to create jobs and economic value through the establishment and development of digital businesses – from start-ups and scale-ups, to corporates.
“Business productivity and competitiveness of the firms within SA and the Western Cape is low, and continues to decline relative to our global counterparts,” according to a statement.
“South African firms are not keeping pace with, or do not exceed comparable international market standards, therefore resulting in constrained economic growth within the province.
“The DEDAT Business Technology and Innovation Programme for Productivity Boost seeks to affirm the province as the technology, financial, innovation and design capital of Africa, through robust business, government and community innovation, supported by academia.”
According to DEDAT, these trends of poor performance need to be reversed and the competitiveness of firms in the region must be taken to − or beyond − international standards. It says this requires adequate business support, with one of the areas of focus being the promotion and adoption of technology and enabling a deep-seated culture of innovation.
The department will support businesses under two categories: individual businesses, and intermediaries that offer business support programmes.
The closing date for applications is 15 March. For application requirements, visit the website.